DOZENS of rats have invaded homes in South Wales, leaving neighbours "too scared to sleep or go into their gardens" during lockdown.
Residents of Dolau Court housing estate in Llanelli, Wales have complained about finding the infestation taking over their homes.
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The homeowners are being terrorised by the plague of rodents during lockdown and can hear them scratching on their walls during the nights.
One woman found 25 rats scurrying around in her garden shed when she opened it.
No one knows what has caused the mystery infestation but neighbours on Dolau Cour, are desperate for help
Mum-of-one Michela Ferrano, 26, said: "There was no mistaking what I heard, I couldn't sleep that night after hearing the scratching. I've spoken to neighbours and it's a problem on the whole street.
"I've confined my daughter to the living room, I won't go in the garden and after seeing a video of them jump I won't open the windows but I know there are gaps that they can still get through.
"Rats carry all sorts of diseases and we all have anxieties right now especially with Covid-19 going on as well, I feel like we can't live like this any longer.
"People have seen droppings and urine and we've seen baby rats so I'm sure they are already mating."
Frances Anne Klusek, who also lives in the area with her husband, said they were clearing out the garden shed and found 25 rats.
She said: "We were moving things about in the shed and then, of course, they darted everywhere, it was disgusting. The weather's been lovely but we haven't used the garden.
"We've heard them in the walls, I think they're in the attic and I also found one in the kitchen the other day.
"It's stopped us sleeping, I've been waking up at three o'clock in the morning and bleaching the house.
"One of my neighbours found a rat in her garden and got bit by one, you can imagine the anxiety that's caused."
Neighbours say they have been in contact with social housing bosses and pest control companies but are yet to find a solution because so many houses are involved.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has claimed around half of the professionals it had polled since the introduction of the measures had seen an increase in activity, according to Essex Live.
BPCA technical officer Natalie Bungay said: "Rats, in particular, may be becoming more visible in areas of population.
"With less footfall across cities and towns, there is less associated food waste being left in bins and on the floor.
"As a result, rat populations are likely to move further afield to satisfy their need for a food source and this, in turn, is likely to cause more sightings.
"By nature, rats will also try to avoid humans directly and so, with less of us walking the streets, they may be getting a little bolder and possibly be seen in areas they normally wouldn’t.
"In terms of rats in domestic homes, so long as you manage your food waste properly and there are no considerable harbourage opportunities, you shouldn’t experience any unusual problems.
"The risk may be that if you find you are doing more gardening and creating more garden waste, the storage of this in piles around your garden can provide a perfect place for rats to live and breed."
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